Thames Valley and Wessex Congenital Heart Disease Network
What is congenital heart disease?
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the term for a range of defects in the heart or surrounding blood vessels that are present from birth.
CHD is one of the most common birth defects, affecting up to eight in every 1,000 babies born in the UK.
With advances in medicine, including earlier diagnosis, improved surgical techniques and advanced treatments, many more babies born with a congenital heart condition are living into adulthood.
As a result, adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD), also referred to as grown-up congenital heart disease (GUCH), now outnumber the babies and children with a heart condition.
Every year across the Thames Valley and Wessex Congenital Heart Disease Network:
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The Thames Valley and Wessex Congenital Heart Disease Network covers the level one unit at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (Southampton Children’s and Southampton General hospitals), the level two unit in Oxford and level three district general hospitals where local visiting clinics are held. The network provides a full selection of cardiac investigations and interventions including interventional catheterisation and surgery.
Our vision is to be a network where our patients have access to the highest quality congenital heart disease care irrespective of age or where they live. We want to provide care as close to home as possible, but also ensure a seamless transition between services and locations. We will listen to and respect what patients and their families tell us is important to them and adapt our services accordingly. We will be committed to collaborative working and continual service improvement. Research is an integral part of our mission to constantly improve and be able to offer better care for patients.
To provide strategic direction for paediatric congenital heart disease care across the Thames Valley and Wessex region
- To drive improvements in quality of care
- To support equitable and timely access to care for all patients
- To support education and training
- To make information sharing as easy as possible.